SpaceX completes key Crew Dragon launch system static test fire

SpaceX has confirmed that it ran a static’s fire test of its Crew Dragon astronaut capsule launch escape system. That’s a key step that it needed to run, and one that is under especially high scrutiny since a static fire of its thrusters back in April resulted in an explosion that destroyed that spacecraft. After…

New NASA app puts you in the pilot’s seat of Boeing’s Starliner or SpaceX’s Crew Dragon

NASA has a new app (or web-based game, if you’re on desktop) that provides a simplified simulation of what it’s like to plan and run a commercial crew mission – meaning one of the planned varieties of mission that will actually take place aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner once they begin flying…

Rocket Lab’s new ‘Rosie the Robot’ speeds up launch vehicle production – by a lot

Rocket launch startup Rocket Lab is all about building out rapid-response space launch capabilities, and founder/CEO Peter Beck is showing off its latest advancement in service of that goal: A room-sized manufacturing robot named ‘Rosie.’ Rosie is tasked with processing the carbon composite components of Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle. That translates to basically getting…

Techstars launches a virtual space tech accelerator with USAF, the Netherlands and Norway

Techstars is following up the first class of their Starburst space-focused program with a new, virtual accelerator program that is being run in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and the Norwegian Space Agency. It’s called the Techstars Allied Space Accelerator, and its focus is…

Stingray-inspired spacecraft could eventually probe the atmosphere of Venus

NASA’s next Venus probe could be an atmosphere-skimming robotic stingray designed by the University of Buffalo. UB’s CRASH Lab, which is the institution’s Crashworthinesss for Aerospace Structures and Hybrids laboratory, has been selected by NASA to get early stage funding as part of a program the agency devised to come up with new and innovative…

SpaceX launches re-flown fairing for the first time and breaks a Falcon 9 booster re-use record

SpaceX has successfully launched its first batch of production Starlink satellites today, sending 60 of the small satellites to their target orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. These 60 satellites follow 60 launched in May, but whereas those, and two launched last year, were for testing purposes, this new batch is the first in a…

Watch live as SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites with a thrice-flown Falcon 9 rocket

[embedded content] SpaceX has a big launch coming up this morning from Cape Canaveral in Florida – a Falcon 9 will carry a payload of 60 of its Starlink orbital communications satellites to space at 9:56 AM ET (6:56 AM PT). The Starlink satellites are the first non-test group of SpaceX’s new constellation heading up…

Ex-Facebook CPO Chris Cox now advises on climate & campaign tech

Chris Cox’s motivational speeches were at the heart of Facebook’s new employee orientation. But after 14 years at the social network, the Chief Product Officer left in March amidst an executive shake-up and Facebook’s new plan to prioritize privacy by moving to encrypt its messaging apps. No details on his next projects were revealed. Now…

Elon Musk says building the first sustainable city on Mars will take 1,000 Starships and 20 years

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk went into a bit more detail about the timelines and vehicle requirements to not only reach Mars, but to set up a sustainable base on the red planet that can serve as an actual city, supporting a local population. That’s the long-term vision for Musk and his space technology company, after…

Kepler achieves a world first for satellite broadband with 100Mbps connection to the Arctic

Small satellite startup Kepler has done something never before accomplished with satellite-based broadband connectivity: providing a high-bandwidth the Arctic. Kepler’s nanosatellites have successfully demonstrated achieving over 100Mbps of network speed to a German icebreaker sea vessel that acts as a mobile lab for the MOSAiC research expedition. This is the first time ever that there’s…